While the county’s budget discussions have garnered a lot of attention, smaller Scotland County municipalities are wrapping up budget talks this month as well.
Here is a roundup of budget proposals for East Laurinburg, Wagram and Gibson for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Gibson, which finalized its budget last week, will continue to tax at 68 cents per $100 of valuation, according to Town Clerk Myra Tindall.
The town, with a population of some 540, currently employs three individuals full-time: Tindall and two public works employees. Gibson also employs a part-time maintenance worker.
There will be no raises or layoffs for town employees, but the budget has allowed for the hiring of a part-time office worker. The town’s total general fund expenditures are projected at $212,400 for the year.
The tax rate in Wagram, a town of some 840 inhabitants, will also remain static, at 65 cents per $100.
According to Mayor Milton Farmer, there are no new hires or layoffs anticipated for the 2012-2013 budget year. However, the town’s six part-time and full-time employees will receive a one-percent raise.
“We have a small group in there and they’re dedicated to us, so we try to do something for them by giving them a one percent raise and additional holidays for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Farmer said.
Town officials are also considering a renovation to the Wagram Nutrition Site on McKay Street, where the town’s Meals on Wheels program is based. The remodeling project is contingent upon the receipt of Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
East Laurinburg’s finance director, Lily Pittman, said that the budget will be finalized pending a meeting of the town commissioners within the next two weeks. As it stands, the 2012-2013 budget will total $74,500.
The town will seek to make funds available for repairs to its garbage vehicles, hence a $5 hike in the garbage collection rate for East Laurinburg’s 300 residents.
“We’re trying not to raise taxes, but we do have some highly defective equipment,” Pittman said. “The two trucks that haul recycling and garbage are in really bad shape and we’re trying to find some capital to do some repairs on those.”
The garbage collection rate will rise from $15 to $20 monthly, as town officials maintain the current property tax rate of 30 cents per $100.
In addition to Pittman, East Laurinburg employs a part-time town clerk and two part-time street maintenance workers. For 2012-2013, the maintenance staff, currently working for five hours a day five days per week, will see their hours reduced to 16 per week over four working days.
Budgets in all three municipalities must be approved by July 1.